Telegraph bloggers and “batshit” Delingpole


by Tim Fenton    
9:11 am - February 28th 2012

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Last August, I noted that Private Eye had turned its attention to the bear pit that is Maily Telegraph blogs, and made the assertion that contributors were ranked according to the number of hits their posts garnered each month

This did not go down at all well with Damian Thompson, editor of Telegraph blogs, who took issue with, well, the whole article.

But now it turns out ranking contributors was exactly what was being done, and Thompson was the one doing it, although the practice has recently been abandoned.

We know this because of an uncharacteristic bout of candour from one of those contributors.

Step forward the loathsome Toby Young, who has announced his departure from providing nourishment to those drifting around the comments sewer of Telegraph blogs and joined Rupe’s downmarket troops as a pundit.

In his valedictory post, Tobes tells of being a Telegraph blogger

The prospect was a little daunting, not helped by the fact that, at the end of each week, Damian would email all the other bloggers with a kind of league table, ranking us according to how many hits our posts had got in the past seven days

I soon learned one of the perennial facts about Telegraph Blogs: no matter how prolific or fascinating you are, you will never be as popular as James Delingpole. He always comes first

Perhaps it was someone else and not Toby Young who told the Eye: “He’s always number one, because he really is batshit mad”.

There are, for Toby Young and his now former colleagues, limits to the outpouring of candour.

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About the author
Tim is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He blogs more frequently at Zelo Street
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Reader comments


Well, it beats being batshit boring.

Have you ever seen an OP so unvarnishedly derivative?

Where’s the added value, Fenton? Ooops…forgot.

Talk about bottom-feeders……..

Errr… Got some tags that need closing…

[edit - now sorted]

How are such currently free websites to survive if not by attracting hits?

So the Guardian publishes terrorist apologists, etc. etc.

The Eye story is still incorrect, because the number of hits made no difference to someone’s prospects. Damian used to send out the email as a point of interest although he stopped a while back. Actually Toby wasnt quite right; Damian was usually number one until late 2009 when James became the most popular.

Many bloggers regularly got very few hits and are still there, because the paper likes their writing, while those who have been let go mostly did pretty well in terms of hits, there were differences over other things. I cant say what he has said to other people but certainly Damian has never told me to go for hits and didnt mind how many I got so long as the writing was good and the subjects interesting.

Whether I have succeded is of course another matter.

The torygraph really has jumped the shark. Batshit insane, writing, and batshit insane readers and supporters. A marriage made for each other.

They have become paid up members of the nutty right wing American Christian knuckle draggers. Anti science, pro theocracy, and a deep stench of Catholicism..

Maria Miller’s relationship with the trith came up again.

SCOTTISH disability charities this week attacked the UK Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and boycotted a meeting in Edinburgh that was supposed to involve disability minister Maria Miller. Miller called off from attending the meeting at Capability Scotland headquarters on Tuesday to discuss the UK government’s disability consultation, Fulfilling Your Potential. However, three Scottish organisations – Inclusion, the Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living and Independent Living in Scotland – had already decided to boycott the meeting. The organisations were angry that the minister said in an interview with a national newspaper that she had personally met with 60 disability organisations to discuss reform of the benefits system for disabled people. When campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts asked the DWP for a list of the organisations Miller was referring to, it included a number of Scottish groups who are campaigning against the changes and have never met Miller.

http://www.thirdforcenews.org.uk/2012/02/scottish-disability-groups-boycott-meeting-with-uk%E2%80%88government/

All comments sections on the internet seem to be a bit nuttier than the average population. However, nothing comes close to the Telegraph blog comments for the sheer industrial scale of the batshitness. I always get a picture of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest when reading the comments. Nurse Ratched is the blogger winding them all up in their therapy.

Gerald Warner formerly of that parish is still seething with rage in his other writings. His Sunday column railing against reform of the House of Lords contained some crackers.

” Endless, mindless tinkering with a parliamentary chamber that functions better than the disgraced and widely loathed House of Commons, continued by David Cameron as the “Heir of Blair”, now finally threatens a constitutional crisis.”

” The prevailing mantra was the fatuous cliché “in this day and age”, sometimes updated to “in the 21st century” – an expression whose use infallibly identifies the cretin. ”

“…the only part of the body politic that is not corrupt is to be cut out. The surviving 92 hereditary peers are denounced as lacking in “legitimacy” by members of a scoundrel lower chamber steeped in infamy.”

“The calibre of MPs today is dire; some of them are only about one rung on the genetic ladder above Homo Holyroodensis. An elected “senate” would bring into central government the kind of local authority pond-life that has not yet penetrated the Westminster sluice-gates. “

You have to rate Brendan O’Neill a bit …. even if he does ramp it up a bit of the batshit scale.

”Occupy London is now basically a holding camp for the mentally ill. It’s time to call it a day”.

That was one of his recent ones, and …. even if it was a bit OTT, it certainly had some truth in it. The fact that the left will not debate someone like him – even when he’s making a good point shows that discussing politics online with starngers, is a pretty pointless passtime.

Blog reposts magazine article (from magazine with no online presence) attacking bloggers. Seems sensible.

Have they ever sacked a blogger for being too, er – eccentric? I recall that poor old David Lindsay had a platform there for about half an hour.

So the torygraph blog acts like a Victorian freak show. The more hideous, and deformed, the more customers they can get.

Really fits with their morality lectures. But then if the Janet Daleys of this world are involved you know it will be the most monstrous freak show ever.

Good to see “Flowerpower” identify himself. Just SMFS to go …

13. So Much For Subtlety

12. Tim Fenton

Good to see “Flowerpower” identify himself. Just SMFS to go …

Naaah, can’t be arsed. Especially as I don’t think you have shown what you claim. The Private Eye claim about rankings was about terms and conditions if I remember right. The more hits, the better they treated you. Simply sending out their data on the number of unique hits is meaningless. It doesn’t mean the Telegraph is using them for anything except illustration. But as I said, I can’t be arsed.

3. cjcjc

How are such currently free websites to survive if not by attracting hits?

So the Guardian publishes terrorist apologists, etc. etc.

I have always got the impression they publish terrorist apologists because they agree with them. Not because they want to stir up some controversy.

So how does Chris Booker get away with writing the same column every week?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Telegraph bloggers and "batshit mad" Delingpole http://t.co/3ndLeCaR

  2. Adam Bienkov

    Telegraph bloggers and "batshit mad" Delingpole http://t.co/3ndLeCaR

  3. Daniel

    RT @libcon Telegraph bloggers and "batshit mad" Delingpole http://t.co/oiDNco22

  4. MustBeRead

    Telegraph bloggers are encouraged to be "batsh*t" controversial http://t.co/JDp38fXb

  5. Tony Hatfield

    Telegraph bloggers and "batshit mad" Delingpole http://t.co/3ndLeCaR

  6. Jason Brickley

    Telegraph bloggers and “batshit mad” Delingpole http://t.co/7S7pCbCB

  7. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Telegraph bloggers and “batshit mad” Delingpole http://t.co/odlLcxX6

  8. BevR

    Telegraph bloggers and “batshit mad” Delingpole |http://t.co/0iXwJRBy #wrb #spartacusreport #boycottworkfare #nhs #democracy

  9. Curt D Miller

    Telegraph bloggers and “batshit mad” Delingpole | Liberal Conspiracy: Last August, I noted that Private Eye had … http://t.co/qvJGfZZq

  10. Robin S Morris

    Telegraph bloggers and “batshit mad” Delingpole | Liberal Conspiracy: Last August, I noted that Private Eye had … http://t.co/PR2s86Bl

  11. Nik Darlington

    Telegraph bloggers are encouraged to be "batsh*t" controversial http://t.co/JDp38fXb

  12. Mark Carrigan

    Telegraph bloggers and “batshit mad” Delingpole | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/nG1HEOQq via @libcon

  13. Janet Graham

    Telegraph bloggers and "batshit mad" Delingpole http://t.co/3ndLeCaR

  14. Murray Dick

    Telegraph bloggers and “batshit” Delingpole http://t.co/jT4MMBJ2

  15. sunny hundal

    Looks like @holysmokes efforts to imitate Nick Denton of Gawker for Telegraph bloggers didn't work out http://t.co/568MMyaw

  16. Tim Ireland

    Looks like @holysmokes efforts to imitate Nick Denton of Gawker for Telegraph bloggers didn't work out http://t.co/568MMyaw

  17. Jack Riley

    Looks like @holysmokes efforts to imitate Nick Denton of Gawker for Telegraph bloggers didn't work out http://t.co/568MMyaw

  18. Feroz Salam

    This is the Private Eye article I mentioned last night: http://t.co/7Rsq1apf.

  19. Pandas and their part in journalism’s downfall | Will Stevens

    [...] Worse still, being balls-out wrong about something seems to work even better than simply twisting the facts to suit your needs. Take Telegraph blogger James Delingpole, described to Private Eye magazine by one colleague as “bat shit mental”. [...]

  20. Tory Troll James Delingpole is as Ugly as His Beliefs | Gossipian

    [...] is a hugely popular libertarian/conservative blogger, due in part to being “batshit mad”. He’s also a notable troll, so if he posts a picture of himself topless, you better [...]





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